– I would have shot that bastard!

Publish date: October 1, 2001

Written by: Jon Gauslaa

The experts' knowledge on state secrets turned out to be limited, but this was not the only walk of life where they had limited competence. They may also have one or two things to learn about customary behaviour.

As previously reported on Bellona web, Pasko’s defence went hard on the ‘state secrets experts’ throughout the interrogations at the Pacific Fleet courthouse in Vladivostok. If the atmosphere inside the courtroom was tensed, it now and then became downright ugly outside the courtroom. However, Pasko’s attorney Ivan Pavlov was also offered a new job …

– I would have shot that bastard!
In one of the early breaks on September 19, expert and lieutenant colonel Poryadny came out of the courtroom red-faced, and started to accuse everybody who came in his way with treason. Pasko, his whole defence-team and the present journalists were all spies, CIA-agents and homosexuals who had sold their nation for cheap cigarettes.

When one of the subjects of the abuse (who by the way was the only smoker among them), protested and referred to the case against Aleksandr Nikitin, the expert burst out: – Nikitin! I would have loved to shoot that filthy bastard with my own hands!

Aleksandr Nikitin was on September 13, 2000 acquitted by the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court of charges similar to the charges against Pasko, after an almost five year long prosecution.

A dragon with eight hundred heads
The next day one of the experts approached a journalist outside the courtroom with a clear message: – We don’t like the way that you act. And we don’t like the behaviour of Pasko’s defenders. Not long ago they popped the director of the "Zvezda" factory in Bolshoi Kamen, the expert said. – The same will happen to you. And Pavlov!

However, the impression of the experts would not be complete if one not also mentions that they were capable of other things that throwing cheap threats at journalists and lawyers. Ivan Pavlov did actually get a job offer from the experts, as they asked him if he was interested in taking part in the working out of new departmental lists of state secrets.

The offer was apparently meant seriously. Still, Pavlov got an offer that he just might want to forget. – One of the tragedies of Russia is that it is pervaded by tiny segments of all kinds of departments and ministries, he said. Arbitrary bureaucrats govern our country. – It’s like being governed by a dragon with eight hundred heads.

Grigory Pasko was arrested in November 1997 on charges of espionage. He was acquitted in July 1999, but convicted of ‘abuse of official authority’ and freed under an amnesty. Seeking a full acquittal, Pasko appealed, but so did the prosecution, insisting he was a spy. In November 2000 the Military Supreme Court sent the case back for a re-trial at the Pacific Fleet Court. The re-trial started on July 11, 2001, and will resume on November 1. The charges against Pasko are based on the evaluation of the state secret experts, whose main legal instrument has been Russian Ministry of Defence’s secret decree no. 055:1996.